Professors at Purdue University are currently working alongside NPO ‘K9s For Warriors’ in a bid to get more knowledge about how Therapy dogs can reduce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in military veterans.
The need for more research was highlighted when the Veterans Affairs Department ruled that they could not allow those suffering from military-related mental disorders to receive a service dog – unlike those with physical disabilities – due to a lack of scientific evidence that the dogs could help alleviate conditions such as PTSD.
However, small preliminary studies have proved promising, with 92 percent of ex-troops who were paired with a pooch for just three weeks reporting that they are able to reduce their medications – or even stop taking them altogether – within six months.
More robust methodologies are called for before the VA will be willing to make policy changes, which the team at Purdue University are hoping to address. Their study involves matching 230 veterans suffering from PTSD, from Atlanta, Iowa City, Iowa, and Oregon with specially trained dogs, over a longer period of time.
Findings could have major implications for ex-troops still suffering as a result of their military experiences.